| Meeting Minutes 25 May 2009 |
Political History Group
Present: Matthew Hayday (Chair/Acting Secretary), Andrew Smith, Alan Gordon, Corey Slumkoski, David Banoub, Colin Grittner, Stephen Azzi, Robin Gendron, Daniel Heidt, Jean-Pierre Morin, Marcel Martel, Jarett Henderson, Craig Heron, Larry Glassford, Michel Ducharme, Paul Litt, Michael Gauvreau, Nancy Christie, Shirley Tillotson, Nicole O’Byrne, Robyn Gifford, Cara Spittal, Brad Miller, Dimitry Anastakis. Blake Brown, Michael Pupaza, David Tough, Stephanie Bangarth, Ian Milligan, Christine McLaughlin, Will Stos
1. Welcome and Preliminary Remarks
Matthew Hayday welcomed those present to the first meeting of the Political History Group and explained the origins and inspiration for the group. The group was presented as an effort to revive and promote the study of Political history in all of its various facets within the Canadian Historical Association, and to foster exchange between scholars of Political history with those studying other facets of history.
The draft constitution that had circulated on the CAN-POL-HIST listserv was presented to the group for ratification.
A motion to approve the constitution was moved by Larry Glassford, seconded by Shirley Tillotson.
Craig Heron put forth a motion to amend the constitution by removing the adjective “Canadian” from the name of the group, making it the “Political History Group”, and to remove any other instances in the constitution which explicitly referred to “Canadian Political history”, replacing them with “Political history”. The motion was seconded by Marcel Martel.
In debate on the motion, concern was raised that this change might dilute the focus on Canadian Political history. Craig Heron observed that other new groups in the CHA have not explicitly named “Canada” in their title, in line with the internationalization efforts of the Association, but that the main focus of these groups was highly likely to remain on Canada, given the group membership and the fact that they are sub-groups of the Canadian Historical Association. Marcel Martel observed that this change in the name of the group might also make it more likely to appeal to scholars from Quebec.
The motion to amend the constitution was carried.
The membership then voted unanimously to approve the constitution, as amended.
3. Executive Elections
The following individuals were elected, by acclamation, as the new executive of the PHG:
Note: Mark Humphries was nominated at the meeting, and members indicated that they would support him for the position of secretary-webmaster if he accepted the position. He has accepted this position.
4. Canadian Political History Award
The group discussed the question of an award in Political history. Matthew Hayday summarized the main considerations which had been raised on the listserv regarding this issue.
Discussion: Larry Glassford noted that the award would be good for branding the group, and giving more cachet to work in Political history. David Tough observed that the question of a monetary value is less important for graduate students than the recognition itself. Craig Heron observed that most of the other prizes awarded by the CHA have a financial component, and that it might not be a good idea to be seen as awarding a second-tier prize. He also suggested that retired politicians might be approached for sponsorship, and noted that although the name of the group was the Political History Group, the award itself could be limited to those publications focussed on Canadian Political history. Marcel Martel observed that although it might be difficult to find sponsors for an award, this was not an impossible task, and also suggested that it might be better to start with an award for an article.
A committee consisting of Stephen Henderson, Stephanie Bangarth, Dimitry Anastakis, Marcel Martel and Daniel Heidt was established to study the question of a Political history award, to report to the executive committee by December 2009.
5. Objectives for 2009-10
Matthew Hayday indicated that his main objective for the group for 2009-10 would be to organize panels for the 2010 CHA Conference at Concordia University, hopefully including a roundtable. Craig Heron indicated that the programming committee tends to be most receptive to roundtables. The executive will work with members over the summer and early fall to set up these panels, using the listserv, and will also work with the programming committee at Concordia.
Shirley Tillotson suggested that the group should consider holding an event, such as a reception, to attract new members. The Committee on Women’s History usually holds such an event from 5-7 on the first day of the conference, but the evening of the first day is usually not pre-booked for events. Members of the group then discussed other ways of fostering outreach and increasing membership. Nicole O’Byrne and Brad Miller indicated that there is a keen interest in Political history in the legal/constitutional community, and suggested that it would be worth getting out the word to other groups, including the Osgoode Society.
Marcel Martel said that it could also be worthwhile to use the group to help organize Political history panels for conferences other than the CHA, and to use the listserv to send out announcements of other conferences that would be of interest to members.
The issue of dues was raised by a number of members and discussed. Marcel Martel suggested that it would be a good idea to find out what other groups in the CHA charge for dues and for what purposes. For the time being, it was decided that it would be best not to charge dues until the group decides how they will be used, given the administrative tasks involved in collecting such dues. The executive committee will further investigate the question of dues over the coming year.
Shirley Tillotson suggested that the group may want to consider broadening the executive to include regional representatives as a way of fostering activity in different parts of the country.
The meeting adjourned at 1:15 pm.
© 2010 Political History Group-Groupe d'histoire politique